Tuesday, May 01, 2012

iPhone camera in low light, not great

I, and many others, have said that the camera in the iPhone is excellent. And it's true. It's excellent for a phone camera.
But, just being one marble's worth of space in a phone, it has weaknesses. For example: low light.
  1.  It's harder to hold still due to ergonomics and size. 
  2.  The sensor is very small, so gets grainy in high-ISO/low light settings. 
  3.  There is no stabilization (no space for it I guess). 
Take the photo below, which I took while just playing around with the iPhone camera after a meal. The light was pretty low, but still with a dedicated camera I'd have gotten a sharp photo (though admittedly hardly an interesting one!) With a good camera I've taken very sharp pictures down to 1/15th second without stabilization, and down to 1/8th second with stabilization. But with 1/20th second (F:2.4, ISO 200) and a bit of bad luck (it always varies from pic to pic), I got a very unsharp picture here with the iPhone.

Another factor is that you can't set anything yourself on the iPhone, no control over aperture, shutter speed, or ISO. Most of the time, not a problem though.

Also, even with a good pocket camera made in the last couple of years, I'd probably get decent image quality at ISO 800, which would have made for F:2.4 and 1/80th second, much easier to hand-hold.


Anonymous said...

Having read your piece on the iphone,because I'm on the verge of buying one, I didn't know you couldn't set the aperture and so forth. Thanks for information.

Tom Findley said...

You need to move to a city that isn't so fond of that industrial chic look. It must get depressing.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks Digipiks, glad I could help.

Tom, well, you have a point. Though glass/steel/concrete is very much present in all the places I've been where they have build in the past thirty years. I guess most of that is economy, it would for example be very expensive to have a lot of structural wood in big buildings.